Renaissance Learning Being Sold for $1.1B to Hellman & Friedman

[Updated 3/14/14, 8:50 am. See below.] Renaissance Learning is being sold for $1.1 billion to private equity firm Hellman & Friedman in what it says is one of the largest education technology acquisitions ever.

Hellman & Friedman, with offices in San Francisco, New York, and London, will acquire Renaissance Learning from U.K.-based private equity firm Permira, which has U.S. offices in New York and Menlo Park, CA.

The deal comes less than a month after Google Capital put a reported $40 million into Renaissance Learning, the edtech firm based in central Wisconsin. Google’s late-stage tech investment fund said at the time that it valued Renaissance Learning at $1 billion.

Google Capital is expected to keep its stake in Renaissance after the deal closes, likely in the second quarter, according to a press release. Renaissance said it will keep its headquarters in Wisconsin Rapids, WI.

It wasn’t immediately clear what the acquisition means for a lawsuit brought by a minority Renaissance shareholder challenging Permira’s October 2011 acquisition of Renaissance. The Wisconsin Supreme Court has said it will hear the case, the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune reported. A Renaissance spokeswoman said the company has no comment because the lawsuit is still pending. [Renaissance spokeswoman response added.]

Renaissance, founded in 1986, provides cloud-based software tools for K-12 assessment and learning analytics. Its products are used by more than a third of U.S. schools and schools in 60 countries worldwide.

The company employs 900 people globally, including 600 in central Wisconsin, the Wisconsin Rapids Daily Tribune has reported.

Jeff Engel is a senior editor at Xconomy. Email: jengel@xconomy.com Follow @JeffEngelXcon

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One response to “Renaissance Learning Being Sold for $1.1B to Hellman & Friedman”

  1. Kathy Bornheimer says:

    It will be interesting to see how this plays out in all regards.